My Review of Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter Theme Park

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Welcome to The Ark Encounter, the Answers in Genesis Ark Park, located in Williamstown, Kentucky. The centerpiece of the Ark Encounter is the enormous Noah’s Ark replica, built 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, 7 stories tall, and reportedly the largest timber-framed structure in the world. The Ark Encounter is also one of the more controversial theme parks built in the United States in the last several years, largely because it is a government-supported tourist attraction with a decidedly religious focus and an end-of-the-day price tag of $172,000,000.

IMG_6062My family I visited the Ark Encounter on July 7, 2016, the park’s official opening day, with some friends. I wasn’t there as a life-long Answers in Genesis supporter, nor was I there as a life-long anti-AiG protestor. I was there because I love the story of Noah’s Ark, because we happened to be in-country and only seven hours away, and because I frequently write about the state of American Cultural Christianity on this blog. Visiting the new flagship of American Cultural Christianity (see what I did there?) on opening day seemed too good an opportunity to pass up, even at $40 a pop for my family of five (the baby was free).

But surprisingly, as I’ve been thinking about what to write regarding Ken Ham’s big boat built in the bluegrass backwoods, I’ve been struggling. Do I write a simple report of my trip? Do I tell my thoughts about the controversial displays – the dinosaurs in cages, the explanations of Young Earth ideology, the mannequins of Noah and his family?  Do I respond to the protestors who congregated around the exit from I-75, frustrated by AiG’s alleged non-scientific view of the origins of the planet, and who seem to have made it their mission to see the Ark Encounter fail as a theme park?

I decided not to delve into any of those topics, but rather, to give a simple list of the positives and negatives of this theme park as I see them, as I do when I review Christian films.

Positives about the Ark Encounter

1. The ark itself

AiG attempted to build a replica that was the size of Noah’s Ark according to biblical instructions (300 cubits by 50 by 30), and the scope of the project is stunning. It’s actually pretty difficult to describe what it’s like, standing underneath the replica, looking up at that massive stern. The experience really did bring the biblical account to life.

As you can see by the pictures, AiG’s attention to detail with the ark is unarguably impressive. When they could, the builders used very old shipbuilding techniques, a feat that must have been a massive undertaking. One can’t help but admire the craftsmanship and dedication that went into the construction of the replica ark, by people who – in many cases – were doing it as an expression of their Christian faith.

2. The “Fairy Tale Ark” and the living quarters displays

The Fairy Tale Ark display really caught my attention. This was a simple room filled with children’s books about Noah’s Ark. At first, I thought the room was going to be celebrating that the story is taught to children, but I quickly realized that the purpose of the room was actually to condemn the trivializing of the Noah’s Ark story.

I was completely caught off guard by this display, and it really resonated with me. For the longest time, I’ve been amazed that a story about the destruction of the world was often told as a children’s story, and even in Thimblerig’s Ark, my middle grade novel for which this blog is named, I tried to capture the seriousness of the flood and not make it cartoonish. I was glad to see that the AiG people felt the same way.

That being said, seeing what that room represented surprised me, considering how much Ken Ham and AiG disliked Darren Aronofsky’s incredibly mature Noah film, even devoting a two hour video review to critically dissecting the film. It’s been a while since I watched the review, but I think they must have at least appreciated that Aronofsky shared their serious approach to the event.

The second display that impressed me was found on the third deck, and it was the AiG representation of what the living quarters on the ark might have been like for Noah and his family. This was another section where an impressive amount of attention was given to detail, and a great deal of thought given to what life may have been like for people at that time.

Since one of the main complaints about Aronofsky’s Noah was that he took too many liberties with his film, AiG appeared ready to head off any criticism about their own filling in of details with a rather lengthy explanation of their view on taking artistic license with biblical material.

IMG_6217Here are some images of the living quarters, where you can see the craftsmanship and detail that went into the creation of the displays.

3. The tenacity of Ken Ham and AiG

Ken Ham and the AiG people fought doggedly for years to get the funding to build the Ark Encounter: They raised millions through private donations; they were determined to participate in a Kentucky tourism tax rebate program, going so far as to take the fight to court; they were persuasive enough to convince the little town of Williamstown to give them a break on property taxes and a very good deal on the property [edited]; and when the attempts to raise donations didn’t seem to be doing the job, they gave supporters and investors the opportunity to purchase high-risk bonds for thousands of dollars a pop, and supportive investors apparently turned up in droves to do so. atheiststoAiG_zps5c32d784When their detractors were celebrating the project’s demise, Ham and company kept working, and they ended up having the last laugh as the park opened on July 7.

Say what you will about Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis (and there’s plenty of people out there saying plenty of things!), but you have to admire their determination and tenacity to tell the story they want to tell in the face of massive opposition (even if they do go too far in response from time to time).

And I should say that as a Christian, I can’t argue with the desire of the folks at AiG to expose as many people as possible to Gospel of Jesus Christ. After all, Jesus said:

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Creating something like the ark does draw people in (although I question Ken Ham’s claim that 40% of attendees will be non-Christians – most non-Christians I know aren’t the least bit interested, and most of my Christian friends are only moderately interested), and the Ark Encounter might very well result people coming to faith in Christ.

After all, Scripture has story after story of God using unexpected and sometimes even foolish means to accomplish His ends. In this case, even though the secular society sees something like the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum as complete and utter foolishness, and many authentic Christians agree with that assessment, as a Christian I can’t discount the possibility that God can use these things to bring people into a relationship with Himself.

More about that later.

4. The Ark Encounter’s economic potential

I’m not sure if this section should go in the positives or negatives, but I’ll go ahead and add it as my last positive. A segueway into the negatives, if you will.

Kentucky has one of the worst state poverty rates in the country, and Williamstown is among the lowest for any town anywhere. Having a major tourist attraction in this region could potentially help the economy in the long run, and this was one of the big selling points that Ham and AiG used to get the state and the town onboard with the controversial tax rebates and interest-free loans. The Ark Encounter’s sister attraction, The Creation Museum, helps make the case as the attraction has drawn nearly three million visitors in its nine years of operation, and having the two attractions so near to one another is a draw for many people who might not come to Kentucky otherwise.

Furthermore, Ken Ham has stated multiple times that the Ark Encounter could potentially bring a couple of million visitors in its first year alone. Having said that, it should be noted that others claim that those high numbers were purposefully inflated to make the park more attractive to investors. Whether or not it was purposeful, I can’t say. But unfortunately, with only 30,000 people reportedly visiting in the first six days, it doesn’t look like the end result will be anywhere near a couple of million.

That being said, my family must have spent close to $1000 in travel, lodging, food, and the Ark during our four day excursion, and there were hundreds of families at the Ark Encounter on opening day. That’s a lot of money injected into the area. Critics counter this idea by pointing out that the Ark Encounter has taken money away from the state through lost tax revenue and interest payments on that huge loan, and that it will be years before that loss becomes a gain for the local economy. And if the Ark Encounter fails, it will never be a gain.

This is a very complicated issue, and you can read a detailed account of it here, and the Answers in Genesis point of view here, and then you can make the decision for yourself.

Negatives about the Ark Encounter

  1. The displays

Other than the two displays already mentioned, most of the displays were pretty underwhelming. I saw posters explaining the AiG interpretation of Scripture, the AiG explanation of how the earth could be 6,000 years old, supported by a few television-sized video monitors. I also saw a few exhibits demonstrating what life might have been like on the ark for Noah and his family. There were also several fake animals in cages (including the infamous dinosaurs… I didn’t see the unicorns), but they didn’t really do anything, so they weren’t terribly interesting.

Considering that Ken Ham was bragging that the Ark Encounter would compete with Disney and be “beyond Hollywood”, and furthermore that he continually emphasized that the park had been designed by the person who had designed the Jaws and King Kong rides at Universal Studios, I was expecting more bang for my $160 bucks. See, the park is heavy on attempts to proselytize visitors and educate them about Creation theory, but extremely light on entertainment.

I’m assuming that as time goes by, more displays will be added, but they need to be more than just posters on the wall or the odd mannequin. The ark needs to be a dynamic, moving place to visit, and they shouldn’t just rely on visitors being impressed by a big boat, because that wears off quickly and won’t bring people back. I know that AiG has plans for a Tower of Babel, a first century village, a theater, and other things, but right now the Ark Encounter needs to bump up the entertainment factor if they want their numbers to be sustained.

Here are some simple ideas that AiG can use for free: (1) have actors wandering the decks in costume and in character, interacting with visitors. (2) Have much more multi-media, maybe even 4-D films that help you to experience what it would have been like to be in the flood. (3) since AiG loves dinosaurs so much, use Ken Ham’s Aussie connections to get dinosaur puppets from Erth to be a part of the experience.

The bottom line? There are a thousand things AiG could do to make the Ark a “must-see” park for everyone and not just believers, who are currently the only ones interested in visiting. Part of that is to make the place entertaining as well as informative. After all, it’s not the Creation Museum, so loosen it up a little! Make the experience more immersive and interactive and maybe even add some levity and fun, and even I might be convinced to return.

2. The sole focus on apologetics as ministry

As I walked around looking at the displays, I kept my eyes open for anything that would indicate that there was any sort of charitable component to the Ark Encounter, this ministry that was taking so much money to build.

IMG_6235Perhaps a portion of the ticket sales would go to help the poor in Kentucky? Maybe AiG would give you the opportunity to donate to help build schools or hospitals in some developing country as you buy your official Noah’s Ark cubit in the gift shop for $19.99 a pop?

Surely there would be something in this Christian theme park that reflected the charge of a Christian to help the poor?

But I saw nothing, and while it did disappoint me, it also didn’t surprise me. After all, as I said before, the Ark Encounter is for-profit, and after operating costs, every dime that is spent on visiting the Ark Encounter will undoubtedly go to pay back the massive 68 million dollar interest-free loan that was given to AiG by the city of Williamstown (which – interestingly – has a poverty level of 18.3%) and to return the investment given to those who purchased the bonds. This certainly makes business sense.

But does it make ministry sense?

3. The evangelistic component

Along those lines, I’ve said multiple times that I admire that Ken Ham and AiG have placed such a high priority on their projects sharing the Gospel. They have put an impressive amount of time and energy into building what they call “one of the greatest Christian outreaches of this era of history.”

But having visited the Ark Encounter, having walked the halls, examined the displays, and seeing what they have to offer, I can’t help but question how much of an impact this outreach will have on non-believers.

I’ve spent the past couple of days scouring the internet for any examples on non-believers visiting the ark, and in that time I’ve seen several reviews from visitors whose views weren’t in line with AiG when they visited. Reading their reviews seemed to indicate that none of them were convinced of anything afterwards, even after they were treated very respectfully by Ark Encounter and AiG employees.

This led me to expand my search for any skeptics who had been convinced by the Creation Museum, since it has been around for nine years. I found plenty of negative reviews by Atheists and Christians alike (here, here, and here – just to show a few), and I did find a couple of anecdotal examples of children from Christian families telling their parents that they wanted to follow Jesus as a result of visiting the museum, but I didn’t find any stories of skeptics or non-believers having any sort of change of heart from their visit to that attraction.

Sadly, if anything, the argument could be made that the typical response of non-believers to the Creation museum was having their skepticism reinforced by the visit. Watch this video for an example (and there is a bit of salty language):

The Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter both seem to suffer from the same problem that plagues most of the Christian films I review. They want to be evangelistic, but their impact outside of the faithful appears to be negligible.

Incidentally, I freely admit that I could be wrong about this. There could be scores of people who have come to faith as a result of their experiences with the Creation Museum, and there could be scores who will because of the Ark Encounter. If so, and if someone would like to provide evidence that I’m wrong about the evangelistic impact of the Creation Museum on skeptics, then I’ll gladly retract this point and have my positives outweigh my negatives.

4. The Cost

While I admire the tenacity, determination, and heart for evangelization of the people behind the Ark Encounter, I’ve also struggled with the fact that they are doing an Ark Encounter at all. Such a huge sum of money for building a theme park? My struggle finally came to a head one morning last May when I opened Twitter and found an AiG Tweet touting the benefits of building a Noah’s Ark theme park right next to a Tweet from J.K. Rowling’s charity Lumos, talking about their push to raise money to help orphans.

Seeing the two money-raising efforts side-by-side took my breath away. On the one hand, as a Christian, I respect AiG’s effort to share the Christian faith. On the other hand, as a Christian, I’m horrified that believers have struggled and fought and spent years raising an enormous amount of money to build a for-profit theme park replica of Noah’s Ark.

And it warps a part of my brain that it’s been done in the name of Christian ministry.

At this stage in the project it may be a tired argument (although I wouldn’t call it a stupid argument, as some have), but I can’t help but think what else could have been done with that money that might have had even more of an impact, if not on propagating the Creationist viewpoint, at least in sharing the Gospel and demonstrating a valuable apologetic, by meeting the physical needs of the poor and sick.

For example, over on Twitter, @branthansen wrote this:

Brent’s Tweet represents the heart of my struggle.

But didn’t Jesus command his followers to make disciples and to teach? Isn’t that what the Ark Encounter is doing?

As I said before, Answers in Genesis claims to have obeyed that command by building the Ark Encounter, and they have a point. People visiting the park will be exposed to the biblical teaching that the world is a damaged place, and that Jesus’s life, ministry, and death on the cross is the answer to fixing the damage.

At the same time, Jesus also said this:

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So, what do we do with this? First, some counter arguments:

1. Giving to the poor is not AiG’s wheelhouse. After all, AiG’s stated mission is to help people learn how to defend the Christian faith, and building an attraction like the Ark Encounter is one way to go about doing that.
2. God owns “the cattle on a thousand hills”, and $172 million dollars is nothing to Him. As a friend wrote to me, “If Ham spends $100M on a colossal mistake, God is not one dime the poorer, nor are His plans set back by a day.”
3. I don’t personally know the Ark Encounter supporters, investors, or AiG employees, and I don’t know what they do with their private money. For all I know, they give more in a month then I give in a year, and the money given to AiG was on top of their already generous contributing to all sorts of worthy charities.
4. Christians should never endeavour to do big things for large sums of money? What if a Christian filmmaker successfully raised $172,000,000 to make a big blockbuster film? Would that make me “struggle”?

These are all good questions, and all good points. But they don’t change the fact that this sort of money raised in a for-profit ministry venture makes me uncomfortable, especially when there is so much need in the world.

And it leads me to ask the question: Would Jesus build an Ark Park, or would he turn over the tables in the gift shop?

I don’t know the answer. I really don’t know.

My final thought on the Ark Encounter: would I recommend a visit?

Christian or not, the ark itself is magnificent and is really something to be seen. But considering the cost of a ticket, there needs to be more going on to make it worth the expense, especially if you’re bringing a family. Once the park gets the zip lines up and running, once they get a few more (hopefully entertaining) displays in the ark, once they get a few more animals in the petting zoo, I’d say give it a go.

This is true, even if you’re not a Christian, or if you are a Christian but not a young-earth Creationist. Just be prepared to talk to your kids about what they will see, and to talk about why they will be seeing it. It can lead to some really interesting conversations about different belief systems, and different ways of interpreting Scripture. And yes, Bill Nye, it can even lead to discussions about science.

At least it did with my kids!

And if you do decide to go, and you agree with me on the charity/cost issues, then do the job that AiG should be doing and donate a matching amount to the tickets you purchased to a worthy charity of your own choice, preferably one that works in Kentucky.

I’d recommend a charity like the Christian Appalachian Project.

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93 thoughts on “My Review of Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter Theme Park

  1. Great review. As a Christian in the NW, I don’t plan to cross the country to see it, but if I’m ever in the area anyway…?? As to the expense and spending it in other ways, I have he same struggle as you. I was struck by a group of Black Lives Matter folks who were planning a protest and instead organized a get together between their group and the police. It was apparently a huge success on many levels. If Christians (myself included) spent more time on the local level, person to person, just simply helping and supporting others…how much good could be done?
    But, perhaps this is all part of God’s grand plan. He promised not to flood the earth, but he didn’t mention Kentucky. This could saves many lives someday! 😜

  2. Thanks for the thoughtful, honest review.

    As a fellow Christian, I share many of your sentiments. My take is that the Ark and CM may do more to bolster the faith of believers than bringing in the lost. However, an argument could be made that there may be more fruit in bolstering the faith of a Christian and there more boldness in their witness. I found that as a young believer, educated mostly in the public schools, I had a difficult time balancing the Bible’s inerrancy with the scientific “facts” (evolution) I was being taught at school. At that time no one in my Christian circle, as I recall, had anything to say on the subject one way or the other. I now consider myself a young earth creationist as a result of being exposed to work of Dr. Henry Morris and the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). I don’t know where I would have ended up without influences such as ICR and AIG.

    By the way, helping the poor and needy is a worthy cause taught in the Bible as “pure religion”, but I believe our primary mission is preach the gospel and any ministry that has that as its focus is being obedient to the call. If it can do both, even better!

  3. Thanks for the well written review.

    I was a little disappointed that you didn’t seem skeptical enough of the claims made by Ken about the ark.

    You mentioned traditional shipbuilding techniques, of which there are exactly zero in this ark.

    The ark, architecturally, is more similar to an Amish barn with raised “bents”.
    The frame is nothing like a ship’s frame and the cladding is more like a parquetry floor than real ship planking.

    Otherwise, well written review.

    Cheers from Australia 🙂

    https://www.facebook.com/Ark-Encounter-Exposed-1044213078956658/

    • Thanks, skepticpete. I appreciate the correction on the shipbuilding. That was my misunderstanding of an article I read, and what you say makes sense, considering the Amish workforce that they had on the project.

      Thanks for the kind words!

      Cheers,
      Nate

    • I second this. The National Center for Science Education is a good resource. In addition to solid information, they respect religion and publish a (rather large) book listing christian organizations that accept science, including evolution

  4. as someone who was raised in 24/7 fundamentalist evangelical christianity, i can definitively say i have found more charitable, selfless giving OUTSIDE of mainstream evangelicalism, rather than in it. i was blown away by the all the “secular” activism that simply seeks to help others, relieve suffering and do good: no religious strings attached. while the church would foster plenty of short term mission trips, oversees missionaries, local homeless shelters, etc., all that help was extended but with obligatory proselytizing and pushing others to conform to the behavioral/ moralistic box of christianity. it was help with caveats and love with conditions.

  5. I’m not surprised that you were unable to find any stories of atheists being converted by the Creation Museum or the Ark Encounter. It’s a big leap from a naturalist world view to Ham’s and AiG’s young earth creationism. Speaking as an atheist I’d say you have a hard enough job convincing me of the reality of God and Jesus. When you add in “and forget everything you thought you knew about modern geology, biology, cosmology and physics” it’s just too big a bite to swallow all at once.

    Have you looked for conversion stories by people who were already Christian, but were brought to young earth creationism by the Creation Museum or the Ark Encounter? I’d expect that it’s much easier to change a believer’s interpretation of the Bible than it is to convince a skeptic to believe in the Bible.

  6. While a zip line would be nice, I would think a water park would be a natural extension to an Ark based theme park. A lazy tube river, a log ride, water slides, wave pools, swimming pools, walkways with those fountains that go off every few minutes (“fountains of the deep”), etc.

    Forty bucks a pop to walk through a warehouse seems a bit steep.

    • If you haven’t seen any of the atheist/agnostic blogs on this subject, Ham/AiG/AE would be torn to shreds over this. One thing we can’t understand is how people are celebrating the mass genocide that is described in the Noah’s ark story due to a flood. A water park would rightly (in my mind) be scorned to no end.

      And I agree, $40 to walk through a warehouse is a rip-off. But at least you don’t have to fight the crowds.

      By the way, the zip lines would be extra. Check them out on the Creation Museum’s website: http://creationmuseum.org/ziplines/prices/

      The Hamster is all about generating the revenue.

      • Personally speaking, I am not celebrating the “mass genocide” as you put it. I am celebrating that God made a way to save those who believed (however small the number) and I am celebrating that He has made a way for all of us to be saved. You may not understand why Jesus had to die on a cross, but if you seek to understand it, it will change your life and the view you share. And to the comment on the crowds, I was there yesterday, (friday) arrived mid-day and there were lines to get our tickets, (many ticket windows were open) lines to get on the buses to take us to the ark (there were several buses were running) The line was long in the restaurant at 2pm -lines stretching down both sides of the restaurant halfway to the entrance door and if you have seen the restaurant, you have an idea how long the line was. (believe i read it seats 1600) Just scanning the lower level of the restaurant, i did not see any unoccupied tables, we didn’t walk upstairs, but there were tables open outside. The longest exhibit line that we waited in was approx an hour long, this was the exhibit that explained the pre-flood world. I am not complaining about the lines, I say this to share that you are misinformed about the crowds, and possibly you have been misinformed in other areas as well.

    • But it was a really nice boat — with concrete foundations, steel reinforcements, air conditioning, and electric lighting.

      Not to mention the informational displays.

    • Jim, I don’t think anyone would argue that there was only one family that had a boat… that’s not what you’re “supposed to believe” as you put it. The bible says that the “floodgates of the heavens were opened” and that rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights and “the waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days” My thought would be that the other boats would not have been made to survive a storm of this magnitude, but even if they did, they would not have been stocked with the amount of food needed to sustain them until the waters receded. Respectfully,

  7. Thank you for your perspective and for writing this article. I’m interested in taking my family there to witness the awe of it, as you mentioned the craftsmanship is something to be admired. I started looking at reviews and finally typed in to Google “Reviews on the Ark Experience from a Christian!” I grew tired of searching reviews, filtering through all the Christian hate – I get it, if you don’t believe, then by all means don’t support it. I won’t buy Sketchers because I don’t agree with their business model – we all have the power to support or deny, but we don’t have to be so “unaccepting” of one another. That said, I would visit a Holocaust museum or a Buddhist Temple in a second with my children and I”m not a a Jew or Buddhist. But I’m good with educating myself and my children. Let’s not be afraid to be exposed to the world and talk about different beliefs. Maybe, just maybe our children would learn to love others despite the fact that they are different from them, and accept their differences at face value. Let visitors figure out for themselves what moved them and what didn’t. It was nice to hear an actual review about the park. As for the taxpayers, there is a lot to be said about that and the for v. not for profit. But sometimes maybe a work of art is just a work of Ark.

    • if you wanted an unbiased view looking for “reviews by Christians” is not exactly it but he did do well for a biased reviewer

      • I agree. I appreciated the level tone and honest evaluation. While I’m an atheist, my wife, my parents, and most of my extended family are Christians. I’m not “against” Christians, but I cannot abide the use of tax dollars by the AE or Ham’s continuous lying and hypocrisy. thinblerigsark did a good job.

        btw, I forwarded this to The Friendly Atheist and he did a write up as well.

      • No problem. I forwarded it because I found it would be helpful for the atheists who regularly read that site to read a review that was honest and (relatively) objective, as well as not confirming all our biases. I wish Ham would respond to your critique, as atheists are easy targets for him to be dismissive of.

      • Beams1969 said ” I’m not “against” Christians, but I cannot abide the use of tax dollars by the AE or Ham’s continuous lying and hypocrisy”

        Were you aware that this is a tax rebate incentive that is based on them meeting certain criteria and it is a rebate of a percentage of sales tax paid at the ARK ? It is the same rebate incentive that many other tourist facilities in Kentucky already receive and it is offered as an incentive to encourage revenue for the state.

        so, Ark brings in revenue for the state and receives a tax incentive rebate… our tax dollars fund abortions…. two completely different things.. If the ark received the 540 million plus that was given in a single year to planned parenthood – from federal funding, all this controversy over the tax would make sense.

        With respect.
        T. Fedders

    • Opponents of the AE, which include atheists, agnostic, Christians, Jews, etc…, aren’t upset at his building his fantasy boat. The opposition comes from his using public tax dollars to do so, in the forms of tax rebates, interest-free loans, and publicly-backed junk bonds. On top of this, the most worrisome part is that children come out of there distrusting science (yes, evolution is a fact) and they are not taught to think for themselves, but to accept blindly what Ham is selling them. If it were only his dollars and only adults going in, nobody would say a word (OK, we would say stuff, but there would be no effort to stop him). He also discriminates in his hiring practices, even though AE is a for-profit company. The judge who ruled in his favor should be disbarred.

    • Monica, I appreciate your openness, and your desire to educate your kids through exposure. Too many Christians have been too scared to show their kids the world because of fear that exposure to what others believe or practice might make them run away from their faith. I believe that it’s valuable to take that chance, show them what others think and believe, and then talk to them about what the experience.

      After all, lots of kids from sheltered Christian homes have run from the faith anyway.

      Cheers,
      Nate

  8. How to build an Ark attraction to reach atheists:

    1 – move all the exposition displays into a separate building.

    2 – devote the interior of the ark to being a complete representation of your imagined ark.

    a – complete inventory of animal ‘kinds’ necessary to repopulate the Earth.
    b – life-sized mannequins or animatronics of each ‘kind’ pair in their cages.
    c – plaques on each cage showing the current species that would rapidly evolve from the displayed ‘kind’ after the flood.
    d – storage areas of sufficient size for the food and water for all the animals and people on board.
    e – limit natural lighting and ventilation to the one window the Bible describes.
    f – living quarters for the humans.
    g – exercise areas for the humans and animals.

    Do this and you’d have something that could begin to demonstrate your story.

    And put some freakin’ feathers on your dinosaurs. You’ve got a brand new display that’s already 10 or more years out of date.

    • I have a question about the one window – this is what my bible describes for the window – “Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around.” I interpret the window on the ark being one cubit high all the way around the ark.. do you interpret this the same? Just wondering if I am not understanding something correctly?
      Thanks,
      T.Fedders

      • Thanks for bringing that up. I grew up a fundamentalist Christian. So, of course, the only true translation was the King James. Which says:

        ” 16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. ”

        I always imaged it as a window 1 cubit square. But the verse is not very clear in the KJV. I looked at other translations, and I’ve concluded that the language must not be very clear in Hebrew. Some seem to say the window went all the way around. Some say the window was one cubit below the roof, some give the feeling of a one cubit square window, some leave out the word “window” all together.

        I’m no Hebrew scholar, but from the English translations I’d say the text is not clear about the window in any way.

        I won’t copy all the translation here. But I’ll link to them if you’d like to read through them.

        Thanks again for pointing this out. Something I was sure I remembered turned out to be a remembered interpretation rather than what the verse actually says.

        https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Genesis%206%3A16

    • “e – limit natural lighting and ventilation to the one window the Bible describes.”

      I know this is a bit late, but I felt strongly compelled to reply.

      I am an old-earther who believes in a local flood.

      Please provide the verse where it states there is only one window for natural lighting and ventilation. Reading through Chapter 6 of Genesis, I find no such verse.

      And also, it seems you are ignorant of the rightful controversy surrounding Bible translations. The Authorised (King James) Version is not inerrant or perfect, but it is a trustworthy, reliable, and beautiful translation, one of the greatest works of English literature.

      However, what theological and biblical knowledge can I expect from a self-proclaimed atheist? The answer is not even the slightest modicum, quite sadly.

      I recommend you visit reasonablefaith.org. Atheism is utterly irrational and untenable.

      • Concerning the one window thing, T Fedders and I already had this discussion. He’s the only other reply to this comment by me, so it shouldn’t be hard to find and see where I got that and where the discussion went.

        Interesting you were able to sum up my understanding of Bible translations from a single comment on an unrelated topic. Your powers of discernment are remarkable.

        I agree that the KJV is a remarkable work of literature. The translators owe Tynsdale a great debt for his rendering of a mediocre work into truly beautiful (now Old) English. While it’s message may have been clear 400 years ago, English has changed enough that modern translations, while lacking in linguistic beauty, render the text more accurately for the modern reader.

        For your dig at the generic atheist’s biblical knowledge, I direct your attention to the Pew Research poll. On general religious knowledge, atheists ranked highest among all groups (http://www.pewforum.org/2010/09/28/u-s-religious-knowledge-survey-who-knows-what-about-religion/):

        Atheists: 82%
        Mormons: 74%
        Jews: 73%
        Protestants: 46%
        Catholics: 40%

        I recommend you visit reality.

  9. Good write up Nate. Might have to wait until they get the rest of the park operating before I give it a look. Is there really a unicorn on there (like the mythical unicorn, not a Siberian Rhino)?

    Also, neat to see you getting some exposure for this review.

  10. I liked your review, but was rather surprised by what looks like credulity. There are an awful lot of reasons to regard the Ark story as impossible (where would they have stored the 15,000 gallons of water necessary for a pair of elephants for one year?), unrealistic (a wooden boat this size would have hogged and sunk immediately) and even ridiculous (how did Noah obtain polar bears?) – and none of them seem to occur to you. I apologise for upsetting you, but one further aspect of your visit which surprises me, besides your apparent failure to question the likelihood of all this, is that you don’t question the morality of mass murder by drowning. Drowning is an extremely painful death and the idea that God would inflict it on an entire population (minus 8 people) including babies, reflects badly on your God, and your failure to question this reflects badly on you. A childhood friend of my mother’s was drowned in WWII when the ship meant to be carrying him and other children to safety in Canada was sunk by an Italian submarine. I hate to think of what he must have suffered.

    • If you read the Bible, My God is a mighty God and does many miracles that our tiny science minds cannot understand. Like the Isrealites 40 yrs in the desert. He fed them, allowed their clothes and shoes to last and not wear out along with multiple provisions along the way. They were taken care of even though most of them had lost faith in their God. It actually takes more faith and an unbelievable amount of time to believe in the evolving of an animal into a human. I wonder why we don’t see that happening now?? Shouldn’t we have some partial monkey humans now?? That is a true leap of faith. If you would truthfully ask God for some answers and want a truthful answer, cry out to him and he will answer! He says so in His Word! We really want to be our own god and that’s where the problem comes in, the most beautiful angel ever, Lucifer, is the prime example!
      As for judgement, everyone on the earth and the dead will be judged according to their belief in and their surrender to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Believers are not perfect, but we have been forgiven our sins, past, present, future. We all have a choice, God doesn’t force us to believe, however, unbelief is the sin that will separate us in the end! Searching is good for our souls, as long as we are willing to accept Gods Truth, the only truth. My God is a God of LOVE, I’m not writing this to beat someone over the head, we seem to get that enough, just wanted to let you know that our beliefs do matter and that God sent his Son Jesus to Die for you, even if you were the only one ever born! He is a gracious God! Love you All!

    • Matthew, I think your questions are good questions and I believe that is the purpose behind the motivation to build such an ark – to explain such things.

      When I visited the ark, they had informational exhibits regarding how they could have stored water, and how it could have been collected during the time they were on the ark and because the exhibit was so crowded, I didn’t have a chance to fully read and watch everything in this display. As for watering the elephants, yes, I agree it would take a lot of water – especially if they were full grown mature elephants. And who is to say they weren’t young elephants that were a little easier on the water supply to make it more manageable. But yes, regardless, a lot of water would have been needed, but I hope you will consider that there could have been a way to collect water while on the ark and continually refill their supply.

      To the boat sinking, are you assuming it would sink because of it’s size? I don’t know anything about boats, (im ok with admitting that) But I would lean toward being open to the possibility of a massive boat staying afloat if the builder/designer was trustworthy.

      Now the polar bears… my version of scripture does not mention polar bears, just 2 of every kind. This does not mean 2 grizzlies, 2 pandas, 2 polar bears, it was 2 bears. Is it unscientific to believe that 2 bears could produce offspring that over years could adapt to their surroundings to the different types of bears we see today? Do i think polar bears were on the ark? no. I do think that there were 2 bears on the ark that reproduced and from there adapted.

      To the drowning… I also agree that it would be a terrible way to die. I can understand how it would be hard for someone to see this as a “God of Love” that we proclaim. There are a lot of things about the scriptures that I had a hard time with – why did an animal have to be sacrificed. just things that didnt make sense, but in seeking the scriptures for understanding, it was given. I do not celebrate that this happened, but in that he wanted a relationship with man and was going to provide a way for all to be reconciled to him, and that was accomplished thru Jesus Christ.

      The bible warns that a time of destruction is coming again, and that just as in the days of Noah, it will not be heeded. I trust the prophecies in the scripture, I think that what we see going on in Israel, and the fact that Israel is even a nation says so much about the reliability of Gods word and that it can be trusted. His Word has been very specific regarding his nation Israel and I believe it could be within our lifetime that we see more prophecies being revealed thru this nation. Some of the prophecies are very specific to even name the names of armies that will come against them on the day that the Lord will stand on those mountains and make His name made known in the sight of many nations as he fights the battle for them.

      Do I believe what God said regarding the flood? yes, and I believe that what he says will yet to come, will come.

      The scriptures also speak of the return of Christ, and while we don’t know the day or hour, we are to know the signs and to be watching and ready While true Christians can’t convince anyone of this, we can share what has been revealed to us in hopes that God can use it to draw others to him.

      I know that I got off subject a bit there from the original questions, but my testimony is that Gods word can be trusted, and that while some things may not make sense to us logically, it doesn’t mean it couldn’t have happened.

      I hope that you will consider looking further into the questions you have. They are very good questions.

      Respectfully,
      T.Fedders

      • So basically by saying the animals “adapted” they evolved? Evolution? This explanation makes no sense for someone who does not believe in evolution.

      • Bryant said:

        “So basically by saying the animals “adapted” they evolved? Evolution? This explanation makes no sense for someone who does not believe in evolution.”

        Answers in Genesis says the number of “kinds” may be as low as 1,000. This makes it nice for fitting things on the ark.

        But there are currently 1.5 million species on Earth. To get from 1,000 kinds to 1.5 million species means that each kind would have to produce 1,500 different species. A reminder: Species can’t interbreed — unlike cat kind or dog kind. So each kind had to evolve into 1,500 species. Speciation — the creation of new species — is macro evolution.

        You can call it “adapting” all you want. But the only process scientifically proven to cause speciation is evolution.

        And it had to do it fast. How fast? Answers in Genesis hasn’t said, but it would have to be under 4,500 years. This is some form of hyper evolution never dreamed of by science.

      • I should also point out that the 1.5 million species only counts those alive today. None of the dinosaurs and other extinct animals that Ken want to place on the ark are included in that 1.5 million number.

      • Hello Bryant, this is what I said regarding adapting – “Is it unscientific to believe that 2 bears could produce offspring that over years could adapt to their surroundings to the different types of bears we see today? Do i think polar bears were on the ark? no. I do think that there were 2 bears on the ark that reproduced and from there adapted.”

        First, thank you for the comment, because if it didn’t make sense, I welcome the opportunity to explain.

        Yes, I believe that animals adapt to their surroundings and that change occurs over time..evolving within their kind, and I believe that natural selection is good solid observation. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t agree with this. But because these things have been proven, doesn’t mean that I or anyone, should accept the general theory of evolution ( humans evolving from monkeys, one common ancestor, etc.) as truth. Based on lack of evidence for anything evolving from one kind, to another kind, it appears it’s still just a theory. Not at all the same kind of proven science as the earlier mentioned. Seems there are many that regard the theory of evolution (common ancestor, etc) as truth, because of the truths of natural selection and evolutionary change within a species being associated closely with it. Most all deceptions start with truth and is surrounded by truth, but it all must be examined.

        I respect and trust the Bible, and I respect and trust good science. Theories are just theories and not something worthy of putting one’s trust in.

        I hope that clarifies the comment made. and I hope if there is anyone dismissing Gods Word because of theories, that they will just consider the possibility of His Word being true, and take a closer look at it. Consider all of the evidences for it then the evidences to the link between the ape and man, and see for yourself which is trustworthy. If anyone would want to discuss evidences for the bible, or the evidences that have been proven (to be hoaxes) to connect man to ape, or any other theory that denies God, I’ll discuss it. Not trying to prove a point, or argue .. but willing to share why it’s worth looking into a little deeper.

        With Respect,

        T.Fedders

  11. Christianity makes those who would otherwise be sane… insane. No sane rational human being, looking at real evidence would believe in the story of the Ark. It’s impossible. Could not possibly have happened. Young Earth Creationists have to be willfully ignorant of every major branch of science. It’s so pathetic.

    • David, do you mind to elaborate for a “pathetic willfully ignorant” gal here? 🙂 what part of it could not possibly have happened? Could not have got the animals on the ark, the flood itself, boat of that size floating, What part is impossible? Hope you will consider sharing some specific thoughts about your views.
      t.fedders

      • I’m not David, but the answer to your question is; everything.

        Everything about the ark story is wrong.

        Geology proves unequivocally that a global flood never occurred.

        The continents have been separated for millions of years.

        Naval architecture proves that a wooden ark that size could never float.

        Biological evolution by natural selection is a fact.

        All living things on the earth share a common ancestor.

        None of this is in ANY way in dispute.

        Wilfull ignorance is the only explanation for people believing these myths.

      • Hello Peter, so your answer is really “none of it is possible because it goes against the facts that i was taught that have been proven” ok. .. if none of this is up for discussing, then you don’t have to reply back, maybe David can explain it to me.

        here goes, but remember.. I’m ignorant. Please be kind.

        I first want to say i am not opposed to science. where i have issue is with dating methods that are later found to not be trustworthy, i would constantly have to wonder if what i am being told is truth, or just the latest truth. I believe that science that can be tested and repeated in the present is the kind of science that is reliable. Dating the age of the earth is a different story. Kind of like predicting the weather – yes, it can be done, but doesn’t have a history of being done accurately enough for me to put my trust in it to be accurate. (i mean seriously, 5 different stations and they all have different opinions of when the rain is coming or if it’s coming) because it is based on assumptions.. but i am thankful for the weather guy narrowing it down.

        to your undisputable list –

        “biological evolution by natural selection is a fact” hold on, let me google that..:) ok.. biological evolution – * any genetic change in a population that is inherited over several generations. These changes may be small or large, noticeable or not so noticeable *- I agree this is good science – changes made within species. I think that is likely how 2 bears over many years led to polar bears, and grizzlies, and pandas. Natural selection – yes, i get that too – how does this prove that the story of the ark didn’t happen? confused, as I think this particular science helps explain the different varieties within species or “kinds” that we have today and helps me to understand why Noah didn’t need so many varieties on the ark.

        “The continents have been separated for millions of years” I file this one in the folder of “subject to change upon new information” it’s in the same file that tells how wise and scholarly folk dated the earth at millions of years at the beginning of the science revolution, then hashed it out after realizing that the tests they had been using were falliable and not trustworthy, and they agreed upon a new number.. let’s make it.. say.. 4.54 billion years give or take a few million…until new information presents itself. Seriously, in reading the history of how the tests work (or later is found they don’t) when dating the age of the earth -, when assumptions have to be made by those performing the tests about the conditions of the earth in the past, I wouldn’t consider filing it in the truth file…. It is ever changing, surely you know that this number is not the final truth here, History has proven that these numbers are subject to change, but if you are ok with the drifting numbers,..

        “naval architecture proves a boat this size couldn’t float” I hope they didn’t spend a lot of dollars on that project, as the titanic could have been enough to prove that large boats can sink. I will try to find some information on the tests that the naval architecture performed, but meanwhile The smithsonian.com headline reports “Basic physics suggests that an ark carrying lots of animal cargo could float, but science doesn’t support other facets of the biblical tale” This of course is from the smithsonian, so, looks like this point is up for dispute within like minded scholarly folks. (i am not even going to go into the amount of extra animals they hypothetically stuffed on the boat -and it still was found that according to basic physics, it would float)

        “geology proves…” geology.. has something to do with rocks, right? i’m not saying i have an issue with geology, other than the dating methods used can be fallible. do you agree? dating rocks millions or billions of years old that are full of helium? is that possible? Mt St helens results.. surely you can admit that there are some issues with accuracy when dating rocks? It has been proven that dating method results vary based on the assumptions made – and these change, so Its does have the potential to be falliable, and probably not trustworthy enough to put my faith in (unless I am very opposed to the only alternative being a divine creator) (and I’m not) ,..and no need for me to bring up flood legends all over the world under this topic, as will be dismissed as a bunch of local floods.. oh, and none of it was up for dispute anyways…

        Thanks for your reply Peter, but respectfully, I don’t see how this “proves” the flood couldn’t have happened.

        I find the bible to be reliable and trustworthy – unchanging. Doesn’t seem to be offensive that you would say that I believe in myths, because i get it.. a lot of the stories are kind of out there..but in searching for truth, it became the source for answers. I don’t expect a reply, but if you would allow me to ask something – Do you believe there was a man named Jesus that did the things spoken of in the bible? the healing, the miracles, the cross, raising from the dead? I know that you know the other things like the flood couldn’t happen, but do you think it is possible that there was a man named Jesus that the bible speaks of?

        Respectfully,
        T.Fedders

      • the dating methods used can be fallible. do you agree?

        No, not really.
        whilst there will always be contamination issues and errors, the margin of error required for the 4.5 billion year age of the earth to be only 6000 years, is like claiming the distance from the east to west coast of the USA is only 17ft.

        many different isotopes are used for different date ranges, and they all work to correct each other in such a way that they simply can’t be as wrong as what young earth creationists claim.

      • T.Fedders said:

        “here goes, but remember.. I’m ignorant. Please be kind.”

        And then went on to list reasons to disregard the scientific consensus for a literal reading of the Bible.

        But the argument boils down to this: Fedders’ ignorance on these subjects outweighs that of experts in there respective fields.

        And that is exactly what’s wrong with with Ken Ham’s ministry and those like it. It teaches people to value ignorance over education, accepting a 2,500 year old narrative (that was not necessarily meant to be literal) over hard work, research, experimentation and thousands of years of accumulated knowledge.

        This kind of thinking leads people to reject medical treatment for their children, vaccines and other proven, reliable sciences. I read the other day that people are now rejecting vitamin K injections for their new borns. Injections which prevent brain bleeding in their infants.

        T.Fedders said further:

        “I find the bible to be reliable and trustworthy – unchanging.”

        Science begins with questions and seeks answers — wherever that may lead. And the scientific method has proven to be the single best, most reliable path to understanding the world we have yet found. Religion, on the other hand, starts with the answer and seeks to support it, no matter what the data says.

        Perhaps there are great and marvelous truths to be found in the Bible. But there is no reason to think it was ever intended as a science book. It can be interpreted to teach a flat Earth with a solid dome over it that keeps the vast waters above separated from the vast waters beneath. But, over time, people have accepted that such phrases are poetic or metaphorical — after science proved a different model. A bigger, grander, more marvelous view of the Universe than that offered in the Bible.

        There are many things I am ignorant of in life. I have learned to defer to those who know more than me in those things — I call a plumber when needed, I have a mechanic I trust, and I certainly get medical advice from professionals.

        We’re all ignorant. But ignorance is not a path to truth. Learning from those more educated and experienced than us is.

      • before i get mail on this mistake… i realize that i mixed up my biological evolution and natural selection in my response… be kind… lol.

      • Peter, . ” they work to correct each other and they can’t be as wrong as what young earth creationists claim…”

        Did you know that 6000 years was once the accepted age of the earth?

        This taken from american museum of natural history (trying to use sources of reference that you would .not consider biased with young earth like aig, etc, so this is from the museum of natural history) well, first of all, in regards to the age of the earth – they state this: “Today, we know from radiometric dating that Earth is about 4.5 billion years old.” (they’re on your side)

        but this is what they have to say about the world before darwin:
        “Before Darwin was born, most people in England accepted certain ideas about the natural world as given. Species were not linked in a single “family tree.” They were unconnected, unrelated, and unchanged since the moment of their creation. And Earth itself was thought to be so young–perhaps only 6,000 years old–that there would not have been time for species to change. In any case, people were not part of the natural world; they were above and outside it.”

        (this is the link to the website referenced – http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/darwin/the-world-before-darwin/)

        “perhaps only 6,000 years old” … they had no reason to believe otherwise until Darwins study needed time for species to change. This is what spurred on the scientific revolutions dating of the age of the earth to millions of years and if you read the history on that, it was later determined that more time was needed – this article from wikepedia simple history of the age of the earth -written with the belief of billions of years – the article states ” Geologists such as Charles Lyell had trouble accepting such a short age for Earth. For biologists, even 100 million years seemed much too short to be plausible. In Darwin’s theory of evolution, the process of random heritable variation with cumulative selection requires great durations of time. (According to modern biology, the total evolutionary history from the beginning of life to today has taken since 3.5 to 3.8 billion years ago, the amount of time which passed since the last universal ancestor of all living organisms as shown by geological dating.[19])”

        “it seemed much too short to be plausible” because as it reads, darwins theory of evolution required greater durations of time.

        above article reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_Earth (and i apologize for my use of wikipedia.. the page seemed to not be biased young earth so i used it – if you find the content to not be reliable, i will do further searching)

        if these articles are reliable, It appears that Darwins theory of evolution was at the center of the need to change the accepted 6000 years of that era, because more time was needed to support his theory and the millions needed to later be changed to billions again, to support the theory.

      • T.Fedders said:

        “Did you know that 6000 years was once the accepted age of the earth?”

        For over a thousand years the Catholic church ruled Western civilization. Those who questioned its authority, in thought or in deed, were punished severely. The schools were run by the church, and church teachings were taught as fact.

        So, it is to be expected that, coming from these colleges and universities, people would start from a Catholic view of the world.

        For example, certain scriptures can be interpreted to present the Earth as the center of the Universe, round and flat, covered by a solid dome, with an expanse of water above, and another below, windows fitted into the dome can be opened to allow in the water, the Sun, Moon and stars are all hung from this dome, and heaven is somewhere between the ground and the dome and can be reached with a very tall ladder or building.

        And so, this is what was taught in schools and believed by the West’s top scientists.

        But the Reformation came, and the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment. And people were free to seek answers elsewhere than from the Church. People like Galileo would still catch the wrath of the Church, but the Church’s ability to stifle progress was diminishing.

        The geocentric model of the Universe gave way to the Heliocentric. Which has given way as well.

        The same is true for the age of the Earth. Scientists taught a 6,000 year old Earth, because the Church told them to. Once they were free to follow were the data lead, the view changed.

        It was incremental. Just as we shifted from thinking the Earth was the center of the Universe to thinking the Sun was to the center of the Galaxy and now an expansive and expanding Universe — our understanding of the age of the Earth changed in increments as well. First hundreds of thousands of years, then millions, now billions.

        This is a feature of science. Not a failure. As instruments improve and new ones are invented, more data comes in. With ever more and better data, our models of things — including the Universe get ever more accurate.

        Today, with very accurate radiometric dating we can establish the age of the Earth to 4.54 billion years to within 50 million years.

        Likewise the microwave background radiation allows us to date the age of the Universe to 13.799 billions years to within 21 million years.

        The flat, geocentric, dome covered Earth from some verses of the Bible once accepted as fact by Biblical scholars is now seen as poetic or metaphorical language. Many Christians have come to see the creation accounts and the flood the same way. Metaphors — parables? — to teach sacred truths. Poetic representations of God’s creation. A creation much bigger, much older than the writers of the Old Testament were able to grasp.

      • and Koseighty said to t.fedders in his sharing of how the scientists were in submission to the catholic church regarding the age of the earth – because it is “expected” that the colleges would have been teaching that to avoid severe punishment

        “Once they were free to follow where the data lead, the view changed.”

        and t fedders replies -and once the data was found to not be trustworthy, (by the scientists that once accepted it) different methods were used and the dates changed.

        look, I was just observing from what I felt would be considered “old earth” biased sources – I am not copy/pasting from AIG, or young earth websites – I am just searching it out to see what i might find. someone mentioned how ridiculous the 6000 years was on here, and I was just making a point that this idea of 6000 years was not something new. It appeared to be accepted norm until the theory of evolution came along and new truth was created.

        What I “observed” and was trying to learn from those more educated and intelligent than myself, was the articles read that 6000 years was accepted until darwins theory needed many more years for this theory to be considered. Then… new data showed more years were needed for species to evolve and hey! good news! those tests had some flaws, and we have more years! Many many more! (homerun and the crowd cheers)

        And I am willingfully ignorant to question this?

        i am not saying to disregard the science consensus, as you suggest. by all means, consider it and search it out, be informed. But to put your faith in something because well educated men said it was the truth and the tests confirm it and this was their field of specialty.. after being off that many billions of years from the earlier predictions, It would seem natural to question it or at least consider if it “could” be a deception.

        In closing, I want to reply to calling in the professionals – we have common ground and I agree with you. I would call the plumber as well, if for some reason i couldn’t fix it myself. I would definitely take the truck to the garage and yes, I would consult the doctor for medical advice too. I have a great doctor. The best actually. However, if my doctor admitted that he uses tests and methods that have been proven to not be trustworthy in dealing with the condition i had, admitting there were other options out there (although he thinks they are ignorant and well.. just plain stupid, he hates the other options – but even so, many have had success with it) I surely would research it all out. I would talk to those who have had success with the other methods who have real experiences to share, and I would make an informed decision. I would possibly even switch doctors. After all, there is much at stake..

        Respectfully Koseighty.

        t.fedders

      • t.fedders said:

        “It appeared to be accepted norm until the theory of evolution came along and new truth was created.”

        That you think new scientific views are “created” is bizarre. Perhaps its just poor phrasing. New scientific truths (as you put it) are discovered, not created. They have always been true. We just finally put the data together to understand them. To say “created” invokes some global cabal that controls what hundreds of thousands of scientists over hundreds of years do and think.

        But this is the second time you’ve commented about the discovery of evolution by natural selection as the driving force behind the discovery of an old Earth.

        Again, this is not how science works. Scientists and researchers in many fields do independent work that converge into consensus on different topics including the age of the Earth. Geology, physics, cosmology, astronomy, biology, and probably a hundred more fields of study came independently to similar conclusions before being accepted by the scientific community at large.

        For our example, we’ll look at geology. Although similar timelines can be presented for the other disciplines.

        • A French scholar, Bernard Palissy who lived from 1510-1589 believed the Earth was much older than then taught, based on his observations that rain, wind, and tides were the cause for much of the present-day appearance of the Earth. He wrote that, these forces could not work over such a short period of time to produce the changes. He was burned at the stake for heresy in 1589.

        • James Hutton, Father of Geology (Scotland, 1726-1797) published `Theory of the Earth’ in 1785. Demonstrated that Hadrian’s Wall was built by Romans and that after 1500 years there was no change. Thus, he suspected that Earth was much older than 6000 years.

        • In the mid 1800’s, Scottish geologist Sir Charles Lyell developed gradualism, the view that all features of the Earth’s surface are produced by physical, chemical, and biological processes through long periods of geologic time.

        • During the late 18th and early 19th century, a German mineralogist, Abraham Gottlob Werner, proposed that all of the Earth’s rocks were formed by rapid chemical precipitation from a “world ocean,” which he then summarily disposed of in catastrophic fashion.

        So we see that by Werner’s death in 1817 geology was well on it’s way to establishing an old Earth. Yet, On the Origin of Species would not be published until 1844 and not widely accepted until 1875.

        By the time evolution was generally accepted an old Earth had already been established by geologists.

        Again, we see your ignorance of the scientific method, scientific practice, and our accumulated body of scientific knowledge.

        Someone on this site responded “Everything” when asked what disproved the Ark story (or perhaps a young Earth). Which is a very reasonable response by someone who is scientifically literate. Vast bodies of evidence in many and varied disciplines all points to an old Earth and evolution. While nothing demonstrates a world wide flood 4,500 years ago.

        Is your ignorance willful? I don’t know. Have you searched the scientific press for responses to the things you found on your google search? Have you read them?

        While not a science site, many working scientists and science enthusiasts have come together at talkorigins.org to address many of the fallacious things about science taught by young Earth ministries. I suggest it as a starting point for overcoming your ignorance.

      • Koseighty. One would think someone with your knowledge and intelligence would be confident enough in your worldview (did I phrase that ok?) to not have to stoop to trying to intimidate me or have to talk down to me. You are wise in your own eyes, in the eyes of the world and in the eyes of your peers, you likely impress many.

        I am just asking for reasonable answers – as you brought up, in a prior comment, someone said “everything is wrong” with the story of the ark. yet, when asked specifically what is meant by “everything” the reply had on the list “because a boat that big won’t float” ..I was not putting down the responses, nor the person that posted it. I was questioning if it had been looked into any further than “someone smarter than me said so”

        I had not questioned if a boat that size could float, so.. I thought i would look to see what those smarter than myself were saying about it… ” Could Noah’s Ark Float? In Theory, Yes. Basic physics suggests that an ark carrying lots of animal cargo could float, but science doesn’t support other facets of the biblical tale” science doesn’t support the story, but it appears their findings were according to physics it could float. My point, if this is part of a list that’s causing someone to dismiss the possibility of the story being true, I would hope that person would search it out for himself.

        Regarding the 6000 year comment, I did not say that all accepted it, but that it was the accepted age up until the time of the scientific revolution. Thank you for the information that there were record of some.

        For sake of getting to the point, this “we follow those more educated and knowledgeable than ourselves and our trust is in what they tell us to believe” reminds me of some religions. Have you ever talked to someone that believes strongly about the faith they hold to, but everything is based on what they were taught to believe?

        Does it not get under your skin when someone says “i believe it because the bible said so!” and that’s the only answer they give you.. do you care that so many people in their group believe it for that same reason? That is what I am hearing from you. Koseighty, you believe in an old earth because educated and impressive, persuasive men have told you to believe it. “look at all of our evidence!” they say. You love information, you love knowledge. It seems shifting and ever changing, impressive yes, very very impressive, but hollow.

        I trust and appreciate good science. I don’t trust the predictions made dating the age of the earth, … because it doesnt have a history of being reliable.

        So to answer your question about looking to the scientific press to get their input on the smithsonian, natural history museum, and other such old earth biased articles that i had referenced.. no, i haven’t. Am I understanding that they are not considered as reliable sources?

        I just question when many have lost the ability to think for themselves, or possibly been intimidated to believe that we need to leave the thinking up to the wisest – or most highly educated, persuasive ones in the group and follow what they say – because after all, they would know best what I should believe. “They are the path to truth”

        I have a strong foundation to rest my faith, and I am secure enough in it to share it. Your fight is not against me, or Christians, but against God. You scorn God and with your faith you deny God, but that same God would be there to welcome you should you have the courage to step out from behind what you have been taught and question some things and think objectively for yourself and stop allowing those wiser and more experienced than yourself lead you down their wide” path of truth”

        T.Fedders

      • Dear T.Fedders,

        First, as a general principle: the point of the scientific method and scientists is not that those us who are not specialists simply agree with them because they have letters after their name.

        We believe them, because they don’t just say ” I believe that A is the way it is because of X”. Unlike creationists, who say “I believe that is the way it is because of the bible and nothing, no evidence, will deter me from that”

        Scientists say “I was interested in phenomenon A and so I did a whole lot of observations listed at B-D which led me to make experiments listed at E-M in a specific way and in circumstances listed at N-Q. This lead me to a series of conclusions, P-T, which can be summarized as X. Please make similar observations and experiments and if you don’t come up with answer X, please explain your own experiments, and I will be happy to revise my thinking.”

        Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries all kinds of people looked at various questions including the age of the earth and the diversity of life, and while those observations and experiments went in all kinds of directions, including some blind alleys, they ultimately led to a series of results, supported by experiments and observations from myriad angles. And what a surprise, they all led to similar answers, regardless of the experiments they did and the fields of expertise they used to get to them.

        And then in the 20th century we developed a load of new sciences and new scientific tools and what did these new methods do? They supported every one of the discoveries of the previous generations and added a whole lot more. The structure of DNA was identified and analyzed, and shown to be common to all living things on earth. The age of various elements was analyzed in loads of different ways, and all those ways supported each other. And even in my lifetime, further discoveries from all the sciences answered another basic question, where all the chemical elements came from: the cores of suns which have exploded and spewed the results of chemical and physical fusion across the universe.

        At the time that the biblical stories were first set to paper/papyrus nobody knew about chemical elements, molecular biology, or the existence of microscopic organisms which are the first rung of the cycle of life, many of which cause diseases previously assumed to be caused by evil spirits or “bad odors”. Scientific investigation soldiers on, forever amending and correcting the discoveries that came before, Old assumptions are over-ruled and proved wrong, new ones replace them.

        And you know what? There is isn’t a single case of science having gone backwards, of having overcome a superstitious belief and replaced it with a rational explanation, only to have that rational explanation then disproved in favor of a return to the superstition.

        And that leads me on to a second point: someone else already suggested you read this but you clearly never did. So before you respond, please DO read the whole of this page: https://ncse.com/cej/4/1/impossible-voyage-noahs-ark

      • Dear Richard,

        Yes, as you stated, I “clearly didn’t read all of the article.” The first time I glanced at the article, such things as “the wood would have rotted away during the construction” “Noah would have needed a thorough education in naval architecture and in other fields” this is “too vast for any naturalistic explanation” the the mocking about Noah hurrying off to the hardware store to find the shelves bare? then fast forwarding a few pages ahead to read “imagine two tiny unweaned kittens shivering in their stalls!” Tiny unweaned shivering kittens? And if I may, naval engineering would not have been “Noah’s primary contribution to humanity.” This article did not appear to be written as something credible, and I just didn’t see it worth the time of investing in the 43 pages.

        If you feel this article is the best example of the great evidences to support the impossibility of the flood taking place, I will press on and read it in full, consider it, and will be open for discussing it.

        I can not debate that the account of the flood and Noah building the ark is “vast for naturalistic explanation.” as the article put it. The Lord I know doesn’t work within those limits.

        I can only scratch the surface of the surface here when I say that the Lord i put my trust in is the First and the Last. He has revealed Himself through creation, and He has revealed Himself to mankind through Jesus Christ, and He has revealed Himself to me and multitudes of others thru His Word. He has given us this Word so that all can know. I can’t convince you or anyone of this, but there are many solid evidences out there – the prophecies, historical records, yet we are given the option to believe or deny. There is coming a day when all will know. Regardless of what side we take, His Word will come to pass and the things written will be made known – wether we sought it out beforehand and were prepared, or if we chose to deny Him. Possibly there are many in our world that think that the Bible was written after the fact and that all the prophecies were penned after they were fulfilled, but there have been prophecies fulfilled in recent years (the jewish people returning to their homeland) and still other unfulfilled prophecies that will unfold in days to come. Much revolves around His nation, so when you hear talk of Israel being unsettled with her neighbors, consider why such a small nation that not long ago been scattered among the world and recently bought back to their land can gain so much attention in world news. In days to come many nations will come upon that land and the Lord will stand on her mountains and fight the battle for them and “Then they will know that I am the LORD” We also know that just as Christ came and died and rose again, that He will return for those who have believed and that there is coming a time of distress on the earth like no other. This would “all” be considered by the writer of your article a “violation of the laws of nature” but the author of my source of Truth can not be defined or limited by mans ability to understand.

        I will read your article and i hope you will consider reading the article I am referring to as well.

        Respectfully,
        Tonya Fedders

      • T. Fedders:

        With respect to the article, the author has to assume that miracles are impossible and that to explain Noah’s ark and the flood in naturalistic terms, they would have been impossible. The tone may be sarcastic or even condescending (it’s been a long time since I’ve read it), but I would challenge you to refute the factual claims *if you seek to explain the ark and flood in naturalistic terms*.

        If you allow for miracles, as you seem to do, then the conversation is effectively over. There is no way to argue against miracles as they are by definition beyond the natural world and beyond logical refutation.

        Ken Ham, however, in his “theme” park, wants to argue that it is all possible without miracles, and that is where he is taken to task. The man makes assumptions by the boatload (pun intended), but never really justifies them. His definition of “kind” is basically that of YECists, but he never explains how he gets to the number of animals he thinks would have been on the ark. I would challenge him to keep even 20 pairs of animals alive for one year under the conditions that would have been on the ark. I don’t think he’ll take me up on it because he knows he’d be put away for animal cruelty in a heartbeat.

        Anyway, I do recommend you read through the article. Point out any factual errors you think are there. If you want to use miracles as your explanation, then have a good day. If you want to suggest another naturalistic way they could have happened, let us know.

        Best

      • Hey Beammeupscotty,

        and with respect, not to the article, but to you, I don’t understand why the author ” HAS to assume that miracles are impossible” ? as you stated.

        There may be those who believe that miracles are impossible, but isn’t it also very possible some are closed to the idea of it because miracles are a “God thing” and one must assume that anything related to God is impossible? Since in their thinking there is no God.

        I am not going so far to say there was miracle oil keeping the animals alive.. as apparantly somone was quoted as saying in the article, I am just wondering why it would be so hard to conceive the notion that God, who has a pretty long history in miracles, and performing them in the sight of nations, couldn’t have equipped Noah for the task of building the ark and enduring the flood.

        I’m reading the article, and will reply as time allows, but i have to address this – the nature of God to work thru events that can not be explained… (i know, conversation over as you warned) but I have a specific question. Would you, or the author of the article dispute the miracles that God performed in the sight of his people upon leading them out of Egypt? I am assuming with the references in this article to “thinking people” and “intellectually honest people”, this has been considered.

        Why would the jewish nation continue to celebrate passover every year, to this day, as instructed in the scriptures if their people didn’t experience the passover? Was that all a hoax? Did a generation many years after the “supposed” miracle/s find a scroll and begin the tradition? It seems unlikely. They were instructed to celebrate it every year so that they would not forget what God had done for them…the miracles performed.. This was just one example of how they were to remember and pass down what they had experienced and seen first hand to the future generations. Do you believe the author of that article would dispute it because he didn’t see or exeperience it? Do you? Do we look at all history -or any history that way, saying I wasn’t there and so I refuse to believe it? Somewhere we have to look at the evidence .. sometimes the evidence is the historical record, and eye witness testimony. I can’t imagine a history book that is free from information obtained by eyewitness testimony. Many on here would call me ignorant if i said I didn’t believe in a particular event in history (non biblical) yet, I will be called “ignorant” for believing the history and events of the jewish nation. At some point we all need to survey the evidences from both sides and consider if it’s possible that there is more that exists even if it is beyond mans knowledge or ability to understand.

        Again, I am not saying a “miracle oil” was used to keep the animals alive on the ark, nor that my explanation is “it was just a miracle”.. I am just wanting to point out that knowing the nature that God has revealed of Himself, I believe that he was very capable of instructing and equipping Noah and his family to build an ark. ( without it rotting away during the construction. ) Seems ironic that some dismiss possibly on something as hollow as “it would have rotted away during the first 80 years,” while others refuse to believe because not enough evidence of the actual ark has been found.. 4000 plus years later.

        more to follow on the specifics of the article as time allows.

        with respect,
        Tonya Fedders

      • Well, I’m pretty sure we’re going to have to agree to disagree about a lot.

        1. Starting at the most important assumption: Is there a god (or gods)? There is absolutely no evidence for this proposition. There is as much evidence for Santa Clause. Therefore, the author of the article has to assume miracles do not happen. If you produce some evidence that actually sticks, you’ll become world famous. Many have tried, none have succeeded.
        2. God ordered food for the animals into the Ark. Simple mathematics dictates that the massive difference in dietary requirements of different animals demands far more space than was available. Many animals (e.g., koalas) require fresh food, and thus those plants and/or animals would have to be tended to until eaten. Again, if you want to allow for miracles here, oil or otherwise, conversation over. Nobody can argue against miracles (nor can anyone prove they exist).
        3. You believe God performed miracles “in the sight of nations”. You are indeed taking this on hearsay, and not verified fact. Yes, we can believe things that happen in the past without directly observing them, and that happens all the time. But, there is this pesky requirement called verifiable evidence. There is no evidence the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt, fled, and lived in the desert for 40 years. Again, produce verifiable evidence and you’ll be famous. (So, yes, I do dispute that miracles happened in the sight of “his people”.)
        4. People believe in really crazy stuff all the time, en masse. They also continue on rituals and traditions throughout the centuries with no sense that they’re wrong in what they’re doing (well, some do, but they’re in a minority). You obviously believe Christianity is the one true religion, correct? So the majority of humanity is delusional? You believe in this because of your faith, which is your right and I support your right to do so. Faith, however, is by nature either believing something to be true without supporting evidence (e.g., there is a god) or believing something to be true in the face of contradictory evidence (e.g., Noah put all the animals and food onto a wooden methane bomb and survived for a year).
        5. You’re right that we have to look at the evidence. There is none that a global flood and/or Noah’s ark took place. There is none that miracles take place. Produce some that is verifiable. Eye witness testimony is notoriously weak in its accuracy. This is even when witnesses are interviewed immediately after an event. The Bible represents one of the longest running games of a multilingual telephone game ever conducted. NONE of the actual primary manuscripts of the Bible actually exist. The earliest copies are hundreds of years after the “fact”. How many mistakes in translation and transcription do you think happened during that time?
        6. The “irony” of the ark rotting away before it was built coupled with no discovery of an actual ark is not irony at all, but to be expected. What we are pointing out is the futility of those looking to justify the ark story by expending copious amounts of resources on what amounts to a fool’s errand.
        7. Apply all you have said to followers of other religions, most of whom believe in miracles, (their) god’s love for them, their rituals, their “history”, etc… What makes them wrong and you right?

        Have a good one.

      • Beammeupscotty,
        Yes, I agree that we will likely just disagree. (although we can agree on Santa Claus being a myth)

        I do want to say the reason I share what I do, has nothing to do with “me being right and everyone else being wrong” This isn’t something that I am trying to prove to show myself right over anyone else..no. It’s more about once being on the other side, possibly i hadn’t hardened my heart to the point of not considering these things, but I was at a point of scoffing the bible. I recall saying “it’s an old book written for a culture long ago..it’s outdated and doesn’t apply to me” That was my opinion on it, because it was what i had been taught.

        What changed my view was hearing the gospel. How God created man and how sin came in and changed that relationship, and how my sin has separated me from God. How God had made atonement with a sacrifice and that sacrifice pointed the way to the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ laying down his life to atone for our sin and how Jesus wants to have a relationship with me and reconcile me to God. This message changed my life. I know that you don’t believe in miracles, but the change that he has made in me has been one that i have experienced personally. I didn’t understand anything about the bible.. to me prior to this it just didn’t make sense, but the bible started to make sense to me. I am not saying that I fully understand everything in it, like the events of the end, but God has revealed Himself to me thru His word. I believe his promises because I have experienced many of them myself. One promise that I know to be true is that He will reveal Himself to those who seek him. He speaks to us personally thru his written Word.

        You are right that He can’t be proven to someone that doubts. If one can not accept that what is seen is clearly from God – creation, but has been dismissed intellegent design and replaced it by either a random pool of information exploding by chance into the organized world we see, or that we came about by millions of years from a single cell to all that we have.. If the idea of a designer has been replaced by greater “knowledge” or “information” then there is no way to prove anything with the kind of evidence you are looking for.

        But on to your point 2 = the animals on the ark and food and simple math… ” kaolas have special diets” – I assume there must be evidence that this specific variety of the Phascolarctidae family was on the ark? My source(bible) does not say that kaolas were on board the ark, but that members of any “kind” in existance would have been. This is what I found on a species within the Phasoclarc family – Nimiokoala greystanesi -“Nimiokoala would have fed on the leaves of forest trees although it is not known whether it specialized on the leaves of eucalypts, as the living koala does.” What does this prove? nothing, other than we dont’ know for sure what the specific diet was for all species within this “kind” 4000 + years ago, was. But beyond that, is it possible that fresh plants could have been grown on the upper level of the ark where the most natural light would have been? I’m not saying it was, i’m just saying is it possible? I know people that grow things in pots to meet their dietary needs… the simple math… I don’t know how it can be simple math when you assume that the dietary needs of animals we have in existance today are calculated not knowing for certain what species within their kinds were on the ark. Also, as mentioned in an earlier post by someone else, they calculated water based on a pair of mature elephants, when we dont’ know that “mature” full size animals were on board. I just don’t see how it’s simple math without knowing for certain the specifics.

        The miracles.. if you don’t think that the miracles were performed in the sight of his people, and that they are just carrying on tradition for no reason.. then yes, we will disagree on this point. If eyewitness testimony (in the midst of thousands even ) is not enough to validate a story, we should all go back and look at what we know about history and consider if this method is used in any other part of history we are taught and if we shouldn’t dismiss any history that relied on this method. I think much of what we know about history will be in question.

        On a similar note,i know i have mentioned it before here… His people were called back to their land in very recent years – just as it was written thousands of years ago it would happen. When you look at the persecution, and how they were scattered amongst all the nations, then returned to their homeland, I just don’t see the probability of that happening without the hand of the Lord. It says in Ezekiel 37 “this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath and breathe into these slain, that they may live,’ So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army” If you read the whole passage, you see it is talking about the Jewish people and in v 12 and in many many passages in the bible “I will bring you back to the land of Israel” “22 “I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel” later in Ezek 38: “..you will invade a land recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations..” Ezek:39 “When i have brought them back from the nations and have bgathered them from the countries of their enemies, i will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for thought I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land ..” This is not the only occurrances in scripture where it talks of them being brought back to their land. Just a comment on the verse where it says “a vast army” – here was a people, persecuted and scattered all over, (we have vast evidence of this occuring) they are called back and at the time that i was studying these passages, i had noted in my bible that Israel had the 3rd most powerful air force and the 4th most powerful armed forces in the world – they were at that time a population of the size of new jersey. I realize that them being regathered to their land and in a short amount of time rising to fulfill what scripture said of them will likely not be any kind of evidence of miracle that you are looking for, but it is evidence to me and having understanding of these passages, and what it means to us today I just want to pass it along. I found that I was wrong in my prior thinking that this book was outdated and didn’t apply to today, or to me. I was open to being wrong, and found that I was. I don’t have an agenda to prove anyone else wrong, or to pass condemnation to anyone, but otherwise, to share that Gods Word is reliable and can be trusted despite a culture that has found answers that allow them to deny His existence. (which was also told about beforehand in Romans 1:18-32 and II Timothy 4:2-4)

        With respect
        Tonya

  12. “Would Jesus build an Ark Park, or would he turn over the tables in the gift shop?

    I don’t know the answer. I really don’t know.”

    You know the answer. The way you phrased this screams that you know the answer; you’re just trying not to admit it. *Anyone* who’s studied Jesus’ ministry knows the answer.

    • Jeff, the scripture reads: “It is written” he said to them, “my house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers”

      The Ark gift shop is not in the Lords house, it’s on the ark. nor is it called a house of prayer The outrage was over this being done in the temple..

      Since I don’t think scriptures imply he would turn over the tables, ….. I guess the answer is Ark Park?

  13. Lots of comments and mentions in the article about the money spent on building this ark. Many are saying the money spent could have been better used elsewhere. Reports show that a majority of that money came from a TIF granted by Williamstown.

    What nobody seems to be thinking about is how many people this attraction will drive to Williamstown and help their economy. Don’t forget about the new businesses (which brings jobs) that will be created targeting these tourists. As of today, only 3 weeks after opening, I found 400+ reviews of people who have visited. For a city of only 4,000 people, this attraction can not only attempt to bring non-believers to Christianity, but also put Williamstown on the map.

    One last point for the author…you seem to imply criticism against them for spending that kind of money when there are charities like Lumos trying to raise money for a better cause.

    If JK Rowling REALLY cares that much about her charity’s cause, why doesn’t she just use her BILLION+ dollars she is worth to fund the charity? Why does she need to raise money from other people? Ken Ham doesn’t have a 160 million dollars (or whatever it cost to build the ark), so he has to raise money. I bet if Ham had 160 million lying around like Rolling, he wouldn’t need investors or Williamstown’s money.

    Don’t criticize Ham (and his colleagues) for raising this money and then put him next to Rolling and her charity.

    Let me ask you this…what is worse…someone raising money they don’t have to further expand the Christian religion, or someone raising money for homeless children because they don’t want to use up their own fortune?

    • Regarding how the AE will help the economy of Williamstown, my guess is that it will barely help. Most folks will either stay in Cincinnati so they can double up on the Creation Museum, or they’ll do like we did and drive up from Lexington. We didn’t even notice any signs for Williamstown when we came, let alone spend anything towards their economy. I can’t imagine a niche attraction like the ark will be that big of a help. Better than nothing, one could argue, but maybe not considering they’re not getting any interest on that giant loan.

      And I’m still waiting to hear about people coming to faith from visiting. I hope they do, but I’ve not heard about it for the ark or the museum. Do you know of anyone?

      And regarding Rowling, she is absolutely famous for her generosity towards charities. And I didn’t put them together, btw. Twitter did. That was why it was such a shock to me.

      • It’s too early to tell how much it can help their economy, but obviously the decision makers in Williamstown thought it would.

        Although that may be how you did it, I know members of my family are going to see the ark in a joint venture with other churches in the area next month. I find it very hard to believe all these people will pull in, pay to see the ark and leave. They will be traveling from further away so they will need a place to stay overnight, a place to eat a few meals, some entertainment, etc…all these things that Williamstown could provide. I’m sure this group of people are not the only ones needing those amenities.

        People may not come to faith by visiting, that’s why I said “attempt”. I personally don’t believe it will bring people to the Christian faith, however, that was not the point of my comment. If Ham thinks he can make that happen, I very much hope he does.

        In regards to Rolling, my point was not that she is not generous. The point I was making is how her charity raising money was being compared to Ham raising money. I feel if a billionaire starts a charity, don’t go raise money from the general public and then only give 80% to the cause like most charities (not saying Lumos does that, but you can’t see because their financials are private). Instead, do it like the Gates Foundation, fund it yourself (and with other billionaires) and go out make the world better. If Ham was worth over a billion dollars and was raising millions, I’d criticize him too as to why he needs to raise the money from others instead of using his own fortune.

      • The boat shaped building may reinforce existing belief, but there is nothing here that will change anyone’s mind. This is a big building with electrical wiring, efficient AC, Tyvek insulation and pretty displays, built with cranes and modern machinery. What possible bearing does this have on the validity of a myth?

    • Go take a look at Ham’s supporters’ photos on the Ark Encounter’s Facebook page. They are basically bereft of any significant numbers of people. Yet he still claims “thousands” are coming each day. If he is still in the first month in the middle of summer, which should be his honeymoon period, imagine what this will dwindle to when school’s back in. I give it a year before it goes bust, unless it gets propped up somehow. It won’t be the Creation Museum supporting it either as it’s been reported to have declining numbers and income as well.

      • Obviously we don’t know their numbers as far as attendance or revenue generated. However, if he is claiming thousands of visitors per day (I haven’t verified this), then that is probably exaggerated based on how many online reviews there are. However, I doubt that you would really need thousands of visitors per day to be profitable.

      • Actually, considering how much they owe Williamstown (over $60 mill), daily operational expenses, and wanting to eventually return money to investors, they will most definitely need thousands of visitors each day for years before they start turning a profit.

      • There is a difference between being profitable and repaying the money you’ve raised. There are tons of businesses that are profitable and have not fully paid off their investors, debts, etc.

        Based on my rough calculations, I don’t see them needing thousands of visitors per day. However, maybe I’m wrong and I can agree to disagree.

      • I just want to reply in regards to the declining numbers at the creation museum, was this recent numbers? I only ask to share that I was there 2 weeks ago and there was a huge crowd there, larger than any crowd I had seen in the many years we have been visiting. I asked an employee of the creation museum if the crowd was due to the ark opening and she told me that they have been having record attendance. She also shared that the numbers at the ark were higher than had been expected. I know this “here say” is not official, but i just wanted to pass on my personal experience – both the ark and the creation museum have had large crowds the days we have visited in the past few weeks.

  14. Unless you are a young earth creationist – you should’t go – an unless you are a young each creationist, you definitely shouldn’t take your kids.

    The majority of Christians all around the globe are disgusted by this monstrosity. What’s next? building a life size model how Moses spread the red sea on lake Michigan. What is the point of all this?

    Thes AiG Folks are condemning Kids books – as they don’t show the real Genocide and the real punishment by God for “wickedness” – do you you really want the emphasis to be ” see how god loved man, he flushed the earth once killing almost everyone – meaning EVERYONE but one family. Which family will he choose if there is a next time? How large would the ark be if we wanted to save a pair of all of the animals species that exist today? Currently 953,434 different Species of Land animals have been catalogued. Although since 1970 about 52% percent that still existed in 1970 are extinct today and it was calculated that by 2020 one quarter of the mammals on our earth that still live today would be extinct.

    People, you do not want to visit this ark. You need – as many others do – to work for the preservation of our planet god has provided us – it’s a gift, still it is treated lie a badly maintained public toilet.

    Building, financing and visiting the ark ist (to put it at its mildest) not taking responsibility for future generations in any adult sense.

    • Andressen,

      “The majority of Christians all around the globe are disgusted by this monstrosity” Where did you get this information? is the poll a reliable source, or possibly more of an opinion?

      If there is a large group of Christians that are disgusted by it, It would be interesting to know if these Christians are disgusted by tax dollars funding abortion in our nation. (or if they are just outraged about a project that was built to defend the reliability of the Word of God)

      your question “what is the point of all this?” to defend the reliability of the Word of God.

      So.. what i really want to ask here, you spoke of the “real Genocide” … and the “real punishment by God for wickedness” ” meaning EVERYONE but one family” – so you agree that this flood happened? Because a lot of the comments i have been seeing here is to how it couldn’t have happened. .. boat wouldn’t float, the age of the earth doesn’t support this story, … oh on and on. I suppose some are disgusted about the ark because it “never happened” and some that are disgusted because “it did”

      You have a very good question – “Which family will he choose if there is a next time ” It is one that we do have an answer to. Gods Word speaks of a time when Christ will return. Just as He came before,and gave His life, raised from the dead and ascended into heaven. He will return. Gods Word says at that time “and all the earth will mourn”

      This present earth is being reserved for destruction – not by flood, but by fire. there will be a new heaven and a new earth. To your question of “which family,” His Word says to “all who believe”

      I would welcome the opportunity to share scriptures concerning this and Gods salvation and any other questions you might have.

      T.Fedders

  15. Speaking of charitable giving being needed from Ken Ham, here is a food pantry about 3 miles from the Ark with nearly empty shelves.

  16. I haven’t read all of the comments, so this may have been covered already, but in regards to ” Surely there would be something in this Christian theme park that reflected the charge of a Christian to help the poor?” Please read – https://arkencounter.com/blog/2015/04/24/ark-encounter-to-support-fair-trade/ to learn of the opportunity to help poverty stricken communities in many countries.

    I hope with your judgement, or rather, “review” of this ministry, you are doing all that you can to help those in need.

    Respectfully
    T.Fedders

    • Yeah, I saw that story about the fair trade products. However, when I was in the gift shop I didn’t see the products themselves. Of course, I wasn’t looking for them specifically, but they weren’t prominently located on opening day. What was prominent was all the kitsch and bobbles.

      And I’m sorry you read the review as a judgment. I had no agenda, and I was actually hoping to love the place. What I wrote was my attempt to be fair and specific about my thoughts and opinions of the place.

      And I appreciate your challenge that I do my part to help people in need. I could always do more. Couldn’t you?

      • I don’t know what the gift shop looked like on opening day, but it appeared that a large portion of the retail space was fair trade products when I was there. Yes, I could definitely do more to help those in need, and as a Christian, I can also do more to help support ministries that defend the gospel because “he who is not with Him, is against Him and he who does not gather with Him scatters” Respectfully

      • With all due respect, I’m not sure how a “large portion of the retail space” could have been different than it was on opening day. The gift shop was full of the non-fair trade items on opening day, and I’m sure they didn’t shift everything around. If they did, good on them.

        My wife says that she saw the fair trade things, but they were to the right of the ramp where you entered the gift shop. I didn’t even go to that section, because it was not the natural flow.

        And is your definition of “supporting ministries” never telling them your opinion of the work that they are doing – even if that opinion is not positive? How are they supposed to improve if all they hear are accolades from fellow Christians? My hope is that if the people at AIG saw my review, that they’ll take my critiques to heart, and it will ultimately make the ark park a better experience. Proverbs 27:17

        Cheers,
        Nate

      • Hello Nate,

        all due respect to you as well.

        My comment about the fair trade, was in response to this:

        ” As I walked around looking at the displays, I kept my eyes open for anything that would indicate that there was any sort of charitable component to the Ark Encounter, this ministry that was taking so much money to build….Surely there would be something in this Christian theme park that reflected the charge of a Christian to help the poor?
        But I saw nothing, and while it did disappoint me, it also didn’t surprise me.”

        It just seems to give a fair and unbiased opinion, if informing your readers of what was for sale in the gift shop for a review, you would have visited more than the path from the ramp to the exit door, or the “natural flow”. The section of the gift store by the ramp was quite large, and did not feel unnatural for me to walk in that direction as I was interested as well in the type of merchandise that they were selling and the charity aspect of it. I walked away from the gift shop with a completely different opinion, and it was one that wasn’t disappointed, but possibly i was more aware because I had researched and seen the article about the fair trade prior to going. (and it also helped that at the bottom of the ramp in the natural flow, introducing that area, there was a huge sculpture of the lion with a big sign and the information on what “Fair Trade” was all about) Pictures would probably better describe the area, so I will update with photos of that area upon our next visit.

        To be honest, I have been a supporter of Answers in Genesis ministries for years because of the work they do to further the gospel, so the charity aspect was just an added bonus for me when I saw that they were partnering with fair trade.

        My definition of supporting ministries would include going directly to the ministry to share my opinion with them if I felt it would help. I somehow don’t see the connection here, are you saying that your post was written to help this ministry? If so, I would send them the message direct, unless they are already subscribers to your blog. But mostly, what i was meaning in my prior comment, was that I didn’t do enough to help counter the misinformation that I read. I am not saying that it is all said intentionally to mislead folks, but misinformation generally does.

        Respectfully,
        T.Fedders

  17. Pingback: The Prehistoric Kingdom of the Appalachians | Thimblerig's Ark

  18. I have visited the Ark Encounter, and really enjoyed the experience; it helped increase by faith in God and His holy word. I am one of those persons that actually believe all the facts of the Bible.
    Scripture states: I Peter 3:15 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to the everyman that asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
    Eight reasons why I believe the Holy Bible is God’s Word:

    Sin – Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
    Before I ever read the Bible I knew I was a sinner and all others are too. Just look in the mirror and read the news.

    Creation – Psalm 19:1 – “The heaves declare the glory of God, and the firmament shewth his handwork.”
    Time, Space and Matter did not just appear, someone created it. The universe has intelligent design written all over it. Dr. Steven Hawkins was asked how the universe got its start. I do not know was his reply. Jesus is not a byproduct of evolution, the Bible makes a point of his blood line and thus we have all those names listed, starting from Adam until Christ. Adam was a real human being. Genesis 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Scientific fact we are made from the dust of the ground.

    The Bible answers three basic questions ever person should want to know:
    Where did I come from? Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
    Why are we here? Revelation 4:11 – “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
    Ecclesiastes 12: 13 – “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
    Where are we going? 2 Thessalonians 1 7-10 – And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
    A man that is born twice will die once and man that is born once will die twice.
    Evolution does not answer all these questions and is based on people interpreting data, with adjustment (not based upon facts) to fit what they believe (sorry they do not use the word believe). There is a purpose to life and responsibility to live for God the creator who love us and died for us.

    Answer to Prayer – I Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
    God answers Prayer, and provides his peace to all that ask.

    God’s hand and intervention for the Jewish nation (Israel) – Genesis 12:3 – “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
    Jeremiah 46:27 – “But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid.”
    Nothing short of God’s grace and protection can explain why Israel survived and is a nation today.

    Change Lives/New Life – 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
    Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”
    God’s word change my life, its messages give peace, inter strength and love especially during very difficult times in my life. Its message has changes people’s life from all over the world. Look at Nick Vujicic evangelist with no legs and no arms. His motto “No legs no arms no problem”. God’s word changed his life. Romans 10:17 – “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

    Prophecy fulfilled in scripture especially the Lord Jesus Christ – See the following scripture, noting that the Bible was written over a 4,000 year period.
    Savior – Genesis 3:15
    Virgin Birth – Isaiah 7:14
    Born in Bethlehem – Micah 5:2
    Crucifixion and Resurrection – Psalm 22/Isaiah 53/Psalm 16
    God’s Son – Proverbs 30:4

    Promise of prosperous and good success – Joshua 1:8 – “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
    Sin will keep you for this book; this book will keep you from sin.

    There are many, many more reasons to believe the Holy Bible is God’s word and is factual in accounts of creation and Noah’s flood. I would suggest what 2 Timothy 2:15 states “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
    God Bless,
    Lou Marrongelli

    • Hi Louis,

      I’m happy you have found your way and I am not trying to be sarcastic, but do you know what circular reasoning is? While I know you believe the Bible is true and factual (like my wife), you cannot prove it is true just because it says it true. That is circular reasoning.

  19. We Have Just returned from the Ark Encounter and the Creation museum ,the first time for us..The Ark is obviously still a work in Progress , And the biggest “Whew” is the view outside it…It is made to handle many thousands of people nicely ,and feed them too,But I got a sense they are running out of funding ,or maybe energy to continue at the pace they have been going ….
    We very much enjoyed the Creation museum and the Beautiful Gardens there and the setting,though it is set up to take much smaller crowds then the Ark…We took in a “Buddy Daviss concert” ,He has been sick for several months..Can’t imagine how hard it would be to see the real neat exhibits, including a super good Ark exhibit, on a weekend when there are bigger crowds, as the walkways get crowded up very quickly. Ken Ham himself strolled past us in a hallway ,sipping a soda and accompanied by an armed security guard, how cool is that …..

    • Just out of curiosity, what makes you say, “I got a sense they are running out of funding ,or maybe energy to continue at the pace they have been going ….”?

      Ken Ham is refusing to release any sales numbers and does not have web cams set up, so nobody can really verify how many people are going. The pictures and videos he does show are either carefully edited to show only the portion of the parking lot that has cars, or to show it when people are packed together in a line. The visitors photos on Facebook usually show very few visitors.

      What day of the week and what time did you go?

  20. Apparently you were an English major and not a finance/math major. Cost to build the Ark, purchase the land, etc was not $172,000,000. You double counted the $68,000,000 in bonds sold. There was no interest free “loan” from Wiliamstown. They were simply the vehicle for the sale of $68,000,000 in bonds to the general public. So Williamstown is not on the hook for an interest free loan. Bond holders (of which I am one) are taking the risk. Bond holders provided the funding, not the municipality. So subtract $68,000,000 from $172,000,000 to calculate the actual cost of $104,000,000. The Ark Encounter was 100% funded with private money and 0% funded with public money — no tax dollars.

    • You’re close… I am a writing teacher, not a finance/math teacher. And that is why I tried to cite my sources. On the $172 mill question, I didn’t do the math, the consultant for Hunden Strategic Partners did when the Ark’s pitch was going before the toursim authority.

      “The Ark Encounter project exceeds all of those requirements, said consultant Rob Hunden of Hunden Strategic Partners, the consulting firm that presented their findings to the tourism authority before the vote. The theme park will cost more than $172 million to build, be open year-round and attract more than 86.4 percent of its visitors from out-of-state, Hunden told the board.”

      Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article44096874.html#storylink=cpy

      And I wrote that it was “end of the day” cost, which means that when all is said and done, they anticipate $172,000,000 to will be spent on the entire project. My understanding is that the lesser amount is just for phase one, which is open now.

      Regarding Williamstown’s “massive interest free loan”, I made a mistake in that comment, and have adjusted the post accordingly. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

      Cheers,
      Nate

  21. Pingback: American Cultural Christianity Roundup • the film edition • January 11, 2017 | Thimblerig's Ark

  22. Thank you for your review. I myself am agnostic and don’t agree with your faith but I do spend a lot of my time researching religion and trying to reason with myself how people can actually believe. However I want to say that I am not against Ken Ham building this Ark. Yes I am from Australia and I am a film maker and actor and been on many a set where just blows my mind.

    Ken Ham and remember I don’t believe in the faith but he is doing something which he 100% agrees with and thinks he is doing for the right reason for that I have no doubt. Looking at the Ark Yes there are more questions than answers far more but I have to give it to him. I was in the movie Titanic and saw the sets created and impressive and seeing pictures of the ark I am impressed.

    I think regardless of the reasons that all christians should be supporting him regardless of what is actually in the boat at the end of the day this is what is said in the bible (Gods word) personally I don’t believe in Noahs Ark story but those who believe in the bible you must support it because this comes from your teachings.

    I am not writing this to turn people from your faith I am writing this because I think it was a good thing regardless of if it will bring money in, regardless if the ark actually floats. or if 8 people really managed all the thousands of animals my point is at least he is believing in his faith and I respect that. If it works or not well only god knows but good on you. I don’t think he should donate money to charity I personally believe that charities are fixing up gods mistakes if god wanted them to live different lives don’t you think it would just happen?

    Ken you’re doing the right thing and I wish you all the best and I hope christians and people of faith support you.

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